Ask Chef Peter Davis to describe his culinary philosophy, and he’ll tell you “fresh and honest,” or the long version: “fresh from the farm and honest-to-goodness New England cooking.” Davis is an avid conservationist, with close ties to New England’s fishing and farming communities. He is proud about the use of products grown using sustainable agriculture methods and native ingredients when creating dishes at Henrietta’s Table, the restaurant he opened in The Charles Hotel in 1995. He strongly prefers not to use ingredients that have been genetically modified or engineered, and he has featured his local suppliers of fresh produce, fish, and game in his cookbook Fresh and Honest.*
Davis is a Boston native who honed his skills around the globe before returning to his hometown. After cooking in the kitchens of the Hyatt Singapore, the Bali Hyatt, the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong, and the Beverly Hills Peninsula, he was tapped to create a restaurant within the Charles that reflected the hotel’s hybrid culture of contemporary energy and classic New England style. Henrietta’s Table, named for the 1,000-pound pet pig kept in Martha’s Vineyard by Charles Hotel owner Dick Friedman, has earned raves in The New York Times, wherein Pooja Bhatia claimed it “has the richest brunch in town” and sang the praises of its “perfectly cooked steaks, fish and pork” and its “rustic, easygoing vibes.” In 1999 Food & Wine called the dining experience “outstanding,” and in Travel + Leisure Frank Rose called the restaurant “wonderful.”
In addition to serving The Charles Hotel’s hungry guests and visitors, Henrietta’s Table has played host to, and provided food for, an annual concert to benefit the Farm School, a family run educational farm in Athol, Massachusetts. The Farm School provides multi-day residential school-year and summer programs for more than 1,500 young people and their teachers, a yearlong apprentice program to train adults in modern sustainable agriculture, and an on-site school. It doesn’t get any more fresh and honest than that!
*To purchase your copy of Chef Davis’ book, please call 617.661.5005.